Charlie Gard parents drop their legal fight, agree to let child die
LONDON» The parents of Charlie Gard, whose battle to get their critically ill baby experimental treatment stirred international sympathy and controversy, dropped their legal effort Monday, saying tearfully that it was time to let their son die.
At an emotional court hearing, a lawyer for the baby’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, said the couple were withdrawing a bid to have Charlie sent to the United States, where a doctor had offered to try to treat his rare genetic condition. The decision came after new medical tests showed the 11-month-old, who has brain damage and cannot breathe unaided, had irreversible muscular damage.
Both parents wept in the packed courtroom at the High Court in London as lawyer Grant Armstrong made the announcement, his voice breaking.
“This case is now about time,” Armstrong said. “Sadly, time has run out.”
Outside court, Chris Gard said that Charlie “won’t make his first birthday in just under two weeks’ time.”
“We are about to do the hardest thing that we will ever have to do, which is to let our beautiful little Charlie go,” he said.
Gard and Yates, who are in their 30s and from London, have fought ferociously for their son, who was born in August 2016 with mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease.
The baby has been treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals. Doctors there say Charlie is in pain and further treatment would only increase his suffering. They have sought permission from the courts to switch off his life support.
Chris Gard, the father of terminally ill, 11-month-old Charlie Gard, reads a statement with Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, in London on Monday.